U.S. Open sectional qualifying storylines: From two 15-year-olds to Fred Couples
U.S. Open sectional qualifying always produces an interesting range of aspirants, this year epitomized by two 15-year-old ninth graders to a 55-year-old former Masters champion.
Garrett Barber, a sophomore-to-be at Pine School in Hobe Sound, Fla., will be participating at Rockville, Md., in one of 10 sectional qualifiers being held around the country on Monday.Cole Hammer, a sophomore-to-be at the Kincaid School in Houston, in in the field at the Northwood Club in Dallas.
Fred Couples in 2014 Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach CC (Getty Images)
Fred Couples, meanwhile, will be in the field in Newport Beach, Calif., attempting to qualify for the first U.S. Open to be held in his home state. Couples, a Seattle native, last played in the U.S. Open in 2006, though he has an advantage in his sectional qualifier, which is being played at Big Canyon Country Club, where he has a home, and Newport Beach Country Club, where he has won twice on the Champions Tour.
Other Open aspirants of note:
Steve Scott, who took Tiger Woods to extra holes in the final of the U.S. Amateur in 1996, is now the head pro at Paramount Country Club in New City, N.Y. He'll be competing at Old Oaks and Century country clubs in Purchase, N.Y. Casey Martin, the golf coach at Oregon and a former Stanford teammate of Tiger Woods, is attempting to qualify for the Open for a third time and will be playing at Tumble Creek Club in Cle Elum, Wash. Martin tied for 23rd in the 1998 Open and missed the cut in 2012. Lee Janzen and Retief Goosen, each a two-time U.S. Open champion, are in qualifiers in Purchase, N.Y. and Memphis, respectively. Sean Jacklin, son of 1970 U.S. Open champion Tony Jacklin, will attempt to qualify at the Bear's Club in Jupiter, Fla. as will__Luke Donald__, the former No. 1 in the World Ranking. Maverick McNealy, the Stanford sophomore who won the Haskins and Nicklaus awards as the college player of the year, is in the deepest field, at Brookside Golf and Country Club and Lakes Golf and Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. The field features a host of PGA Tour players, including__Steve Stricker__,Vijay Singh,Davis Love III and 21-year-olds Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger. David Duval, a former world No. 1 and British Open champion, is in the Memphis qualifier.
The results can be followed here.